Tiger Woods turns back the clock to move into contention at Carnoustie

Sherman Parsons
July 25, 2018

Chasing a 15th major title and his first since the 2008 US Open, Woods began the final round at Carnoustie four shots off the lead shared by defending champion Jordan Spieth, Kevin Kisner and Xander Schauffele.

A two-putt from eight feet saw Woods slump back to five under and one behind what was now a four-way tie for the lead, with Spieth, Molinari, Kisner and Chappell in that group.

The tourney marked the return to prominence for Tiger Woods, the US golfer who has won 14 major championships but none since 2008. Masters champion Patrick Reed almost went home after making double bogey on No. 15 and bogey on 16, but parred the final two finishing holes to make the cut on the number at 3-over-par.

"Oh, yeah. Oh, yeah", said Woods, who finished the tournament finished tied for sixth, three shots behind playing partner Molinari. "It's been a few years since I've felt like this", an ebullient Woods said after his best score in a Major since another 66 in the second round of the 2011 Masters.

Runner-up in 2012 and a last-day leader in 2013 and 2015, Scott has given himself a fighting chance once again of becoming the first Australian since his childhood idol Greg Norman, a quarter of a century ago, to win the Open.

"I'm going to have to have an incredible round to get myself in it", he said.

The 42-year-old American legend - beset by personal problems and back issues for most of the last decade after once dominating the sport - threatened a shock victory at Carnoustie when, halfway through his final round, he led while most of his rivals were shedding shots.

"It's one of my better rounds I've played".

"Next thing, lo and behold, I'm tied for the lead, and then I'm leading it!"

Molinari assumed the lead at 7 under on the 14th hole with a two-putt birdie, and Schauffele tied him with a like birdie two groups hence.

While Spieth, Schauffele and Kisner endured a rollercoaster ride across the sun-blasted links, as if spooked by the presence of a resurgent Woods, Molinari cranked out 13 consecutive pars before making his move. "Even though he's won 14, you have to learn how to get back".

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He said: "I played well today, I really did".

But a double-bogey six at the second following bunker trouble preceded another dropped shot at the third to leave Kisner lagging behind by three.

"I think maybe a little bit tomorrow just to expect the unexpected".

Molinari's win was the first in the Open for a golfer from Italy and ended a streak of five straight major championships won by Americans.

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland There is nothing flashy about Francesco Molinari except for the players he keeps beating. "I doubt he's been called Zach that many times". Schauffele chopped up the next hole for double bogey.

In the end, it hardly mattered: Woods's tee shot found the right side of the fairway and trundled past a bunker, leaving him with just gap wedge left.

And the prospect of being stalked by Woods, just four shots back after a 66, is one Spieth is relishing, certainly more than his razor cut.

"The beginning of the year, if they'd have said, 'You're playing The Open Championship, ' I would have said I'd be very lucky to do that".

Eddie Pepperell shot the low round on the final day and held the clubhouse lead until fellow Englishman Justin Rose swiped it.

Rahm said there is a fine line between contending and missing the cut in most major championships, when a few stray shots can make the difference.

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